Encomia, a little used word for testimonials and positive responses to live performances, seldom fit the pattern of traditional references. They tend to be shorter, and sometimes more flowery; therefore, they deserve their own page to offer a more personal view of Mr. Jenks' portrayal of President Madison. They are organized starting with those most recently received, and it is hoped you will find them helpful in understanding the effort that brings President Madison to the twenty-first century in an accurate and meaningful manner.
Pictured is Kyle Jenks as his 18th century alter ego Douglas McKenna with speaker James Kirby Martin-award winning author of twelve books and recognized expert on the American Revolution. Mr. Martin says the following:
"Kyle Jenks is phenomenal in bringing to life Founding Father James Madison. Highly recommended." --- James Kirby Martin, Cullen University Professor of History, University of Houston
As the inauguration day of the 45th President of the United States drew close, Mr. Madison paused at Amsterdam House in Amsterdam, New York, to reflect on his Northern Trip in 1791 with Thomas Jefferson, and his own first inauguration in 1812 with members of the Historic Amsterdam League and their friends. Courtesy of David S. Brownell of the Historic Amsterdam League, Mr. Madison's reflections are shared her by clicking on the image to the left. Note, this video is approximately 43 minutes long (President Madison's remarks begin at approximately the 25 second mark), and is found on the Historic Amsterdam League Facebook page. Below are a few comments from those in attendance.
"Kyle's performance was very professional and I found it to be very educational. It is very interesting to learn about the founding fathers of this country." --- a friend in Amsterdam, New York
--- from another constituent --- "Serious first person interpreters are relatively rare individuals who find passion in scholarly research to corroborate the development of as accurate a persona as possible."
Also, an "after the show" interview for H.A.L. was conducted by Bob Cudmore, who had this to say about Mr. Jenks' portrayal of President Madison. Mr. Cudmore intends to have a podcast of this interview available in the next few weeks, and the link will be provided once President Madison is notified that it is ready for viewing.
"Kyle Jenks is very believable as James Madison. The presentation was educational and entertaining." ---Bob Cudmore
The 2nd Annual Conference of the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley occurred in early June in Johnstown, New York. The encomium that follows is from Hugh and Sue Gardner of Arlington, Virginia.
June 13, 2016
"We attended the 2nd Annual Conference of the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley in June of 2016 in Johnstown, NY, and to our delight we shared a banquet table with President James Madison! (As portrayed by Kyle Jenks). His impersonation was excellent! President Madison regaled us with stories from throughout his amazing, life including the drafting of the Constitution, his friendships and debates with the “other” Founding Fathers, and his dramatic Presidency.
We also discussed his life with Mrs, Madison and life in Washington. The president conversed with us on many topics, led the table in toasting, and also quizzed us on our Constitutional knowledge!
Kyle was Mr. Madison in accent, vocabulary, and manners. His appearance was top notch and Kyle firmly remained “in character” for hours. All in all, it was a bravura performance!
We can highly recommend Kyle as an excellent “James Madison”!" ----- Hugh and Susan Gardner, Arlington, VA
On May 26, 2016 Somers Middle School in Somers, New York invited guests to share a bit of history - in character - to the students. Among the guests was President James Madison (Kyle Jenks). Mr. Madison made an positive impression on both the students - no small accomplishment in today's classroom environment - and staff at Somers Middle School as is reflected in the comments shared below. Although a video recording was made by one of the teachers, we have elected to first verify with school officials that posting the footage here that was shared is not a violation of school policy.
"The person of President Madison was made real for the kids! Watching the 6th grade students listen to him - they never took their eyes off him! Of the many re-enactors at Living History Day, Mr. Jenks is among the very best!" --- Officer Thomas Somers, N.Y. PD.
"We have to get James Madison back next year for living history day; he was so interesting - the kids loved him (Kyle Jenks)!" --- Teacher Somers Living History Day
"It is exceptional that a reenactor can do an in-persona impression and stay in character in a convincing manner. Kyle Jenks pulls it off in a most impressive way making the person of President Madison come alive for his audience, captivating his listeners and making history come alive! Mr. Jenks' command of history and the character of James Madison is most educational and entertaining!" --- Bill Wienecke / Social Studies Teacher of 35 years Somers Middle School, Somers, N.Y. / Coordinator of SMS Annual Living History Day / Program Director Living History Education Foundation, Buchanan, N.Y.